Photo: The RJR/Gleaner's Gary Allen (left) presents the Chairman's Award to Jamaican Olympian Vilma Charlton at the RJRGLEANER's Sports Foundation National Awards Ceremony held on Friday.
The RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation’s National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards marked 60 consecutive years of recognising excellence in sports on Friday evening, with Steve Bucknor being presented a Lifetime Achievement Award, Vilma Charlton copping the Chairman’s Award and 12 winners being honoured with Diamond Decade Awards for a sportsman and sportswoman of each decade since recognition started in 1961.
The exclusive television event this year under the theme “Celebrating 60 Years of Sporting Excellence” was premiered in Jamaica, 22 Caribbean countries and in the Tri-State area of the United States of America, as well as to global subscribers on 1spotmedia.
2020 Lifetime Achievement Award – Steve Bucknor, O.D.
Steve Bucknor remains the only person in global sports history to serve as both a FIFA referee, and an International Cricket Council, ICC umpire. Bucknor's contribution to sport in Western Jamaica as football coach for Cornwall College and Seba United was exemplary. It placed Bucknor as successful at both the junior and senior levels as a football coach. He stood as a referee for FIFA up to the level of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Football Associations, CONCACAF. In cricket, he has won both the bronze and golden bails awards from the ICC for outstanding service, including standing in more than 100 test matches and more than 100 One Day International matches. He was the first umpire in global cricket history to attain the feat of standing in 100 Test Matches.
Steve Bucknor was the recipient of the Chairman’s Award in 2002 jointly with Dr. Vin Lawrence.
2020 Chairman’s Award – Vilma Charlton, O.D.
Vilma Charlton is a 3-time Olympian and has served the Jamaica Athletics Administration Association (JAAA) in various executive capacities for over 30 years. She has served World Athletics as an instructor. Charlton has also served as an official in a wide range of national track and field events. She is an author who is noted for her work in physical education.
Diamond Decade Awards
Male and Female “Diamond Decade” winners were also named. The recipients of these Awards were:
1961- 1970 George “Bunny” Grant & Monica Desouza,
1971-1980 Donald Quarrie & Marilyn Neufville
1981-1990 Mike McCallum & Merlene Ottey
1991-2000 Courtney Walsh & Deon Hemmmings-McCatty
2001-2010 Usain Bolt & Veronica Campbell-Brown
2011- 2020 Usain Bolt & Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce
Special Mentions for 2020
The Foundation also highlighted meritorious performances by Jamaican athletes in areas that were possible in 2020. They included:
- Alia Atkinson-Aquatics
- Christopher Binnie-Squash
- Jermaine Blackwood –Cricket
- Elaine Thompson-Herah -Athletics
Certificates of Merit
Certificates of Merit recipients were:
- Susan Harris-Henry – Paralympics
- Grantley Reid - Cricket
- Dennis May – Track & Field
- Dr. Kevin Gwyn Jones- Sports Medicine
- Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore- Football
The event was hosted by the RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation.